[Square & Compasses]

Why did you become a Freemason?

Subject: An answer given....
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2007 08:32:59 +0800
From: "Darren Gibcus" <dgibcus@redemptionjv.com.au>
Cc: <masonry-ask@mit.edu>

In the March newsletter of Lodge Golden Thistle, WM Bro. Wells asked the following question in relation to my initiation ceremony that had been recently completed:

"I wonder how it imprints on the mind of the candidate, now and in years to come when they think back on their initiation, passing and raising?"

Although I have not completed my raising, and obviously will have to wait a while for the "years to come", I thought I would take this opportunity to give some form of answer to the question while it was particularly fresh in my mind.

Prior to meeting Bro. Wells several years ago, my impressions of Freemasons were neutral to questionable. I had read many articles about conspiracies, secret knowledge and church disapprovals. But really, it seemed to me that the masons were old and quiet. How refreshing then to meet a mason who was young and enthusiastic and really believed in his organisation. It was this ability to discuss Freemasonry at a personal level that lead to my decision to join Lodge Golden Thistle.

At the start of the evening of my initiation, I was quite relaxed, despite knowing I was about to embark on what should be a solemn and lifelong journey. I did have my reservations earlier during my nomination period, but as the day of my initiation drew nearer, those reservations vanished. May be that was due to the anticipation of a new journey, maybe it was the fact that my good friends Brothers Wells and Dalton were already members of Golden Thistle, or maybe it was the new tux.

And despite the good natured, though I must say half-hearted, attempts by the other masons to un-nerve me prior to start of the ceremony, I could sense that there was a positive feel to the Lodge that evening. It was this positiveness; the genuine interest other masons had in my initiation, the warm welcomes I received as we all gathered, more than anything that served to confirm that my decision to join the Masonic brotherhood was a good decision.

There was a pleasing mix of older, middle-aged and younger men that attended that evening, and this broke down any notions I had of a staid or withering group. Like all good organisations, the strength of a group lies in its diversity. Young, old; tradesman, professional; high-income or average income. All of these were present that evening, if not exactly in Lodge Golden Thistle, at least within Kalgoorlie-Boulder Freemasonry.

During my preparation for the ritual, I had the pleasure of listening to some of what I'm sure will be many of Bro. Paddy's stories for every occasion. As the knocks rang on the door for me to enter the Lodge, I thought I would be entering a serious atmosphere of stern faced men. How refreshing then to learn that the ambience inside the lodge was light-hearted, yet still solemn. I could hear occasional banter in the background, and the officers of the Lodge did not dwell upon slight errors made during the reciting of the ritual. The members were all very supportive of those performing the ritual as they knew it was not an easy task to memorise the passages. I was expecting a funeral-type mood, but found a sombre welcoming instead.

The ritual itself was a blur to me, and to be honest, I did not really take much in. Not that I was being vague or inattentive, it's just that it was so different to anything I had experienced before that I found it slightly overwhelming. As you would expect, I am still getting used to it, but I was grateful for the opportunity to attend the initiation of another good friend of mine at Boulder Lodge several weeks later. It was during this time that my own initiation was consolidated; and I was able to appreciate fully the significance of what I had experienced and the journey I had commenced.

Over the past couple of months, my understanding and enthusiasm for Freemasonry has grown significantly. I thoroughly enjoyed my second degree as it gave me a chance to be an active participant in the ritual, and again the support and interest from other masons, not just members from Golden Thistle but many of the Lodges in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, was extraordinary. In fact, having been able to complete my second degree at a Lodge other than my Mother Lodge has left an indelible impression that Freemasonry is more than your immediate surroundings. My gratitude goes to Lodge Sir William Wallace for this lesson.

Having made the first steps on my Masonic quest, I can see that my impressions of masons as old and quiet are still valid, but in a vastly different manner. My notion of Freemasons being old has been replaced with the fact that Freemasonry itself is old. Just how old I'm sure will be debated endlessly, but there is no denying the Masonic lineage over the centuries.

My notion of Freemasons being quiet has been replaced by the fact that Freemasonry is quiet on the outside, but vigorous on the inside. It is the personal, inner development of the mason that is important, not public announcements of good works. For the latter comes from the former.

I am excited to have joined an established, yet growing group in Lodge Golden Thistle. I hope that I can contribute constructively to the high standards and gathering momentum.


Bro. Darren Gibcus, FC
Lodge Golden Thistle, 840SC

Project Manager
"We will either find a way, or make one" - Hannibal

Redemption Joint Venture
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Great Eastern Highway
PMB 3, Coolgardie, WA 6429
Phone: +61 8 90220222
Direct: +61 8 90220237
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Email: dgibcus@redemptionjv.com.au <mailto:dgibcus@redemptionjv.com.au>

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